Rockwell Fund is a private foundation, founded in 1931, seeking to promote positive community change by supporting nonprofits located in the Greater Houston area.
Newlyweds, James M. Rockwell and Sarah Wade Rockwell moved to Texas from Indiana in the late 1800s. Living for a time in North Texas, where Mr. Rockwell started his career as a lumberman, by the second decade of the 1900s they had made Houston the headquarters of their chain of retail lumberyards located in West Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. On Mr. Rockwell’s death in 1931, a portion of his estate was set aside as a charitable trust. The trust, incorporated as a Texas nonprofit organization in 1949, was enhanced by the estates of the Rockwell children, the last of whom died in 1978, whereupon the remaining Rockwell lumberyards were sold. Today a seven-person board and a staff of five administer the Fund.
Until the early 2000s, we operated as a traditional family foundation, making responsive grants guided by intuition and pragmatism. As assets grew and professional staff was added, our grant philosophy was refined, and we reduced the number of grants in order to increase their average size. Today, our grants are awarded in specific areas, enabling Rockwell Fund to be more purposeful and effective in achieving clearly defined goals and supporting our grantees through:
We recognize the role we play in catalyzing innovation. We often serve as early investors in emerging areas/fields and test new ideas or models that show promise.
We build awareness and increase dialogue and knowledge in our issue areas. We also help build the field through networks, advocacy efforts, and other opportunities that allow our grantees to become better equipped to carry out their missions.
As a funder, we are privileged to have a birds-eye view of the field. We understand the broader context which allows us to convene allies/partners in order to encourage collaboration and advance change.
We encourage and seek out collaboration and partnerships among grantees and funders. We recognize that no one organization will be able to solve today’s complex social problems and that we must leverage each other’s strengths to effect social change.
770 S. POST OAK LANE, SUITE 525, HOUSTON, TX 77056